The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

A well bid hand

Playing online against random opponents, red vs white (at IMPs) I pick up.

S: x H: Ax D:AT8 C:AJ65432

A straight flush in clubs, with a few good ones to boot. And three aces.

I open 1 Club naturally enough (no Polish club tonight!) and partner responds 1 Heart.

RHO steps in with 1 Spade and I bid 2 Clubs. I really want to bid 2.5, but I decided to go a bit low. In hindsight I think it may be better to stretch to get to a game, but either could work. I’d be happy if it came back to me and I could bid 3C.  Also, since we’re playing support doubles, my bid tends to deny 3 or more hearts.

LHO raises his partner to 2 Spades, and partner bids 3NT. RHO is back in it with 4 Spades.

Hm. Partner may have taken a chance, but we are white and they are red. I believe we are in a forcing situation. Partner bid a game, so we won’t let them play undoubled.

Given that, I pass. That must be suggesting not doubling and playing somewhere else. It should imply a singleton spade. It pretty much should ask about clubs, although I could also be 4=6 in the minors. I expect partner to double, and I won’t be unhappy if partner doubles — three aces are three tricks (hopefully), but who knows? We could make a club slam and 4 spades could earn us almost nothing or — heaven forfend — make.

Partner thinks for a bit and bids 5 Clubs, which ends the auction.

I get the three of spades lead and after dummy hits there isn’t much to the play


                    S: AQx H:QJTxx D:Q C:QT97

S:9xx H:Kxxxx D:J9xxx C:--            S:KJT8xx H:7 D:Kxxx C:Kx

                   S:x H:Ax D:AT8 C:AJ65432

With the club king onside I could make six. Taking the hook is totally safe (if it looses then I can at most lose one more trick) and I probably should have, apparently there was more to the play than I noticed, but its a measly overtrick and I’m playing online and in any case this article isn’t about the play and shut up.

Four spades likely won’t make, but will be a cheap date. (Diamond ace, diamond ruff, heart ace, diamond ruff and we get the spade ace for down 2, +300, instead of +620. The club ace lead looks terrible but will likely transpose into the same line, club ace ruffed, spade and partner wins high and leads the DQ to get a ruff, heart ace, another ruff. Although … after the club opening lead ruffed a declarer who peeks at the cards can lead the HK to hold things to off one).

East likely figured the save should be cheap, and he was right, although if West had a touch more defense. A further bid of 5S starts to look bad. It might be a phantom or push us into a slam. West’s bids are defensible and he self-rated as novice (I didn’t check East, but he seemed like a reasonable intermediate). Considering the poor bidding I see by “advanced” players I think both acquited themselves well.

And — of course — partner’s bid of 5 Clubs was correct.

I comment “nice bidding all around,” and go to the next hand.


Written by taogaming

May 17, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Bridge

One Response

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  1. I don’t know about good bidding. 4NT is cold, and 6C is excellent, and will probably make. (Taking the club finesse seems best; if it loses, the heart hook will be a big favorite. That inference seems stronger than the 2% you get for 1-1 clubs. Also, they bid a lot with no values, so playing for extra shape looks right.) I think it’s close between 3NT and 4D by partner, and I can understand 3NT with a soft hand and a SQ which which is huge in 3NT and not so useful in 6C. But 4D would have worked better. If you had bid 3C, which seems right, he’d have an easy 4D splinter. Key card will get you to 6C. It’s a little harder to make without all their bidding, but you probably will take two finesses through the bidder and make.

    Jeff Goldsmith

    May 18, 2017 at 10:37 am

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